“More than 45 Years Ago?”

Tennessee’s “Fearless Five” of 1966-67, so named by Knoxville Journal sportswriter Ben Byrd, defeated No. 8 Florida for the second time in six days, 56-42, at the brand new Stokely Athletic Center in the early days of the team’s run to the SEC title.

The Vols had defeated the then-No. 10 Gators in Gainesville on Jan. 16 by 66-53. That win brought the Vols to a 4-1 record in what would be a 15-3 SEC season. The Vols would not dent the AP poll until the games of Feb. 25, coming in at No. 8 and finishing the season at that position.

The Vols would lose tight contests at Ole Miss (56-53) and Alabama (53-52) and knocked off all comers the rest of the way, including that memorable double overtime win at Mississippi State in the season finale at Starkville.

Vol fans were definitely warming up to this team, filling Stokely Center to the rafters and then heading home to watch the taped replay on WTVK (Channel 26) at 11:30 p.m.

It was, as always, a great time to be a Tennessee fan.

Could it really have been more than 45 years ago?

Say it ain’t so.

Tempus Fugit and all that.

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014